It appears Google is cracking down on adblocking apps in the Google Play store. Hmm.
So here's the backstory, as reported by TechCrunch. Samsung recently released a new Content Blocker API, which allows third-party developers to make apps that block ads in the latest version of Samsung's Internet browser app. One of the first to crop up was Adblock Fast. After 50,000 downloads, Google pulled the app from Google Play, citing a portion of its developer policies that precludes apps from interfering with the services of other third-party apps.
While Adblock Fast is down, other apps that work with Samsung's new extension haven't been completely removed yet. Additionally, browsers that block ads natively haven't been taken down. Finally, Google also hasn't done anything about adblocking extensions for apps like Firefox.
Techcrunch seems to think that this isn't a crusade against all adblockers -- it applies only to those that you install via APK:
From our understanding of the situation, Google will continue to support mobile browsers that can block ads within themselves, either via built-in functionality (as with the Adblock Plus browser), or via extensions (as with Firefox, Javelin, Dolphin browsers, etc,) but only when those extensions are not distributed via APKs (downloadable apps) on Google Play. Or to put it more simply: browser apps that block ads are ok; ad blocking apps are not.
Now why would Don't Be Evil Google be touchy about an adblocking app? Well, it's possible that the search giant is just playing by the rules that it set up for everyone else. You can't interfere with other apps! Don't do it!
Then again, its internet services business, which is basically a huge online advertising machine, pulled in $US74.5 ($104) billion in revenue last year. So yeah, maybe Google's a little touchy about adblocking. What's the line? "Playing with my money is like playing with my emotions."
Image via AP